A Berlin coffee shop has banned strollers from the premises, and has gone so far as to place a giant bowling pin-shaped concrete pole in the doorway to block them from entering. On the border of Berlin's Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg neighborhoods — the latter of which has a reputation for being a "Mama-Kiez," or mommy neighborhood — The Barn Roastery has banned strollers because they believe them to be fire hazards. According to a message on their Facebook wall, "A high volume of prams would make it extremely difficult to handle evacuation in case of fire. So we have decided to have none." The shop does note via Twitter that the pole can be easily removed for customers in wheelchairs.
The Barn, it seems, has all kinds of rules, not just the one about strollers: they do not play music. They do not offer WiFi to customers and they do not like customers to use laptops, although "If you must, we have a dedicated media table where you can please use your laptop or i-pad if you must." The official language of the cafe is English. They do not offer sugar, nor will they make you an Americano: "We won't stretch our espressos with water." Also, handbrewed coffee are only served black because, according to the owners, "it would be like adding milk to champagne."
Needless to say, parents are not happy about the policy. The tabloid Berliner Kurier even staged a bunch of photos of parents looking grouchy with strollers outside of the Barn, and deemed it "Cafe Herzlos," or Cafe Heartless. The Barn notes in the original anti-stroller post on Facebook that "We do like children" and "This is by no means an intention of discrimination against parents." Nope, just their huge, clunky strollers.
· Cafe Herzlos Berlin Keine Babys Kinderwahen Hausverbot [Berliner Kurier]
· The Barn Berlin [Facebook]
· All Children Coverage on Eater [-E-]